21st of March 2019 Author: Johnny Karp
Group G favourites Poland start their UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying campaign with a tricky away match as they face Austria at Ernst Happel Stadium in Vienna on Thursday. The two teams are the strongest in the group on paper, but North Macedonia and Slovenia will threaten their positions while Latvia and Israel will be the outsiders. The last direct meeting between these two national teams was at Euro 2008, when the group-stage match ended 1-1. Before that, Poland had won two out of two against Austria in the qualifying campaign for the 2006 FIFA World Cup.
Austria were unable to have a successful campaign in the UEFA Nations League last fall, they finished second in their group behind Northern Ireland and will play in the second tier of the competition in the next edition as well. They did win four of their last six home matches, though, including friendlies. Their latest performance was a 2-1 away victory against Northern Ireland in November, three days after a goalless draw at home against Bosnia & Herzegovina. Forwards Guido Burgstaller and Michael Gregoritsch had to withdraw from the squad due to injures, so Marko Arnautovic will probably lead the attack despite not making too many appearances for West Ham lately.
Poland had a terrible campaign in the UEFA Nations League and they got relegated from the top tier to the second. It is true that they were in a difficult group with Italy and Portugal, but they only managed to get two draws and finished at the bottom of the group table. Their last result was a 1-1 draw in Portugal, a decent outcome considering that it came after three consecutive defeats. Poland head coach Jerzy Brzeczek will have a tough time choosing between his strikers as Robert Lewandowski is a world-class player while Arkadiusz Milik and Krzystof Piatek are in very good form.
Austria: Lindner - Lainer, Dragovic, Hinteregger, Alaba - Grillitsch, Baumgartlinger - Lazaro, Stoger, Sabitzer - Arnautovic
Poland: Szczesny - Berezynski, Bednarek, Glik, Reca - Klych, Krychowiak, Linetty - Zielinski - Lewandowski, Milik
My prediction: 1-1 draw, this will be a long campaign and both teams will be afraid of starting with a defeat.
Here are the odds for the match at Bet365:
Austria win - 2.25
Draw - 3.20
Poland win - 3.30
22nd of March 2019
21st of March 2019
Austria had quite a rough start to their EURO campaign (probably quite unexpected for themselves) and looking at that group where most of the teams looks quite even I think it would be really tough for them to overcome that disastrous beginning in the end.
More so loosing a couple of games to the teams who're supposedly their direct opponents for the top places in the group.
But outside of Poland and Israel there are the teams of Slovenia and Macedonia so it might sound ridiculous just two games in but I think the Austrians are already pretty much out of contention right now..at least they have enough matches ahead to prove me wrong.
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